Politics

Minister disputes claims No 10 pushed Sue Gray to dilute Partygate report | Gray report


A senior minister has disputed claims Sue Gray was pressured to water down her report into law-breaking events throughout Westminster, saying he’s “absolutely confident” the investigation had been fully impartial.

Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, dismissed options that senior figures in Downing Street pushed for element in regards to the so-called “Abba party” in Boris Johnson’s flat throughout lockdown and workers members’ names to be stripped out.

The allegations had been reported in the Sunday Times, which stated Gray was lobbied to change key passages of her report on the eve of its publication by three folks: Steve Barclay, the prime minister’s chief of workers, Simon Case, the cupboard secretary, and Alex Chisholm, the everlasting secretary for the Cabinet Office.

Earlier within the week, the Guardian revealed how Tory MPs feared there had been a “cover-up” over the Abba celebration, which Gray has admitted she didn’t totally examine.

Lewis didn’t explicitly deny that Gray had been pressured into altering her report as a result of he stated he was not concerned within the inquiry, however stated “anybody who has worked in No 10” knew that “that kind of thing wouldn’t work”.

He instructed Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I’m confident, particularly now that No 10 have outrightly made the point and denied that this happened, that Sue Gray had the freedom to write the report that she was comfortable to write and publish.”

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Given the Metropolitan police didn’t concern any fixed-penalty notices for the occasion, Lewis stated this “backed up” Downing Street’s denial of the story.

Asked how the media and the general public might belief No 10 after it initially denied Covid guidelines had been damaged, Lewis stated: “It is a different Downing Street, you’ve got a different team of people, the chief of staff is different – the team you’re talking about who work with the prime minister, who lead on these issues.

“Steve Barclay himself is new and wasn’t there at the time of those original mistakes.”

Johnson will most likely face additional complications, given his former prime adviser Dominic Cummings stated proof of “crimes in the flat” the place Johnson lived had been ignored by the Metropolitan police and Cabinet Office.

Labour stated Johnson wanted to elucidate why figures in No 10 “interfered in an investigation he had claimed was independent and leant on Sue Gray”.

Angela Rayner, the celebration’s deputy chief, stated: “It’s about time the public were told the truth, but this prime minister can no longer be trusted to tell it.”

Johnson faces an investigation more likely to start subsequent month into whether or not he misled parliament by denying for weeks that any Covid guidelines had been damaged.

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour celebration chair, stated not sufficient Conservative MPs had determined but whether or not to attempt to depose Johnson or put the Partygate scandal behind him.

“We think that ultimately politics should be clean, it should be a force for good,” she stated. “We should have all politicians held to high standards.”



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